A federal judge has approved Kodak's plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection. Judge Allan Gropper's ruling paves the way for the photography pioneer to emerge from court oversight as a new company focused on commercial and packaging printing. Many of its products and services are now gone, including the camera-making business that made it famous more than a century ago. Also gone are tens of thousands of workers, manufacturing facilities, supply contracts, and millions of dollars in investments. Founded in 1880, Eastman Kodak Co. filed for bankruptcy protection last year after struggling with increasing competition, the shift from film to digital photography, and growing debt levels.
"Kodak is a different company than the one in the popular imagination and very different from the one that filed for bankruptcy," Kodak attorney Andrew Dietderich told the court. In making his ruling, Gropper noted that his approval of the plan will result in the loss of retirement and health care benefits for many former workers, while many of the company's investors will recoup just pennies on the dollar. "So at a time of admitted tragedy, let us take a moment to dwell on the future and hope that Kodak will be successful," Gropper said.